The decision to seek placement in a Skilled Nursing Facility can be difficult. Selecting the right location for your loved one is important.

Most skilled nursing facilities still offer long-term care for residents who require daily assistance on a long-term basis. In addition, many facilities now offer programs to assist individuals whose needs are more rehabilitative in nature. These facilities may offer short-term rehabilitation programs on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Almost all facilities will offer some type of rehabilitation to their residents. Therapies will usually include physical, occupational and speech therapies at a minimum.

With the trend toward shorter hospital stays, Subacute Care has emerged to bridge the gap between hospital and home. Many facilities also provide respite, or short-term care, usually for a month or less to provide a break for caregivers. Some facilities also have specialized units, such as Alzheimer’s/dementia units, to care for residents with special needs.

In addition to assessing medical and financial considerations, there are other factors to consider, including:

  • Does the facility location allow for frequent visits with friends and family members?
  • Does the facilities’ environment foster the participation in social or religious activities?

These are two questions you should ask before selecting a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). Although it may be a trying time, there are many advocates who can assist with guidance. When coming from a private home, it is prudent to seek a thorough examination, including a chest X-ray by the attending physician. Bring a copy of your loved one’s medical history and physical exam to the specific facilities you like. This information will allow prospective facilities to assess specific medical needs.

Hospital discharge planners can be a wealth of vital information. They can clarify and coordinate resource options to meet individual’s discharge needs. Local Aging & Disability Resource Centers can also be an excellent source of information on SNFs.